Outspoken UFC star Colby Covington hit out at "all the slime in Hollywood" as he took aim at those he claims have wished harm on United States president Donald Trump.

Trump was this week taken into hospital after contracting coronavirus, with the 74-year-old later declaring on Saturday night that he is "feeling much better" and hoping to be "back soon".

Covington is a well-known supporter of the president and took a personal call from Trump after defeating Tyron Woodley in his latest fight last month.

The 32-year-old was in attendance for the first presidential debate between Trump and election rival Joe Biden in Cleveland last Tuesday and told his fans he has since tested negative for COVID-19.

In the same update, posted on Instagram, Covington took the opportunity to take a swipe at Trump's detractors.

"For the people who constantly slander my name, but are all of a sudden concerned with my health and well being: I'm COVID free," Covington wrote.

"I've been tested 7 times in the past 3 weeks, including prior to and after meeting with the POTUS. I was also tested during fight week, as well as before and after the debate. ALL NEGATIVE.

"Speaking of ALL NEGATIVE, how about all the slime in Hollywood and woke sports wishing harm on a 74 year old grandfather!?! How tolerant!

"Unfortunately for them and fortunately for America, @realdonaldtrump is a fighter!!! He KO's the fake news media daily. He KO'd Slow Joe and Chris Wallace at the same time on Tuesday! Now it's time for a casual weekend KO of COVID! Here's to a speedy recovery and 4 MORE YEARS!!!"

Colby Covington beat Tyron Woodley by TKO before taking a call from United States president Donald Trump on Saturday.

Covington dominated Woodley in Las Vegas before a rib injury ended the fight in the fifth round.

The 32-year-old Covington attended a Trump rally last week and he received a call from the president after his win over Woodley.

"You are a great fighter man, I tell you, you make it so easy, I don't know how the hell you do that," Trump said in the call, which took place during Covington's interview on ESPN.

"Congratulations, I wanted to watch that fight tonight, I wanted to watch it, you were great."

Former interim welterweight champion Covington improved his record to 16-2 in his first fight since December last year, when he lost to Kamaru Usman for the title at UFC 245.

United States president Donald Trump labelled the NBA a "political organisation" amid protests against racial injustice.

The NBA saw three play-off games postponed on Wednesday and another three on Thursday as players protest in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Asked for his reaction to the protest, Trump accused the NBA of turning into a political body.

"I don't know about the NBA protest. I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are tired of the NBA frankly," he told reporters.

"But I don't know too much about the protest, but I know their ratings have been very bad and that's unfortunate.

"They've become a political organisation and that's not a good thing for sports or the country."

While games have been postponed, the NBA playoffs are expected to resume in the coming days.

United States president Donald Trump suggested Drew Brees caved "under the PR pressure" as he doubled down on his criticism of the New Orleans Saints quarterback.

Earlier this month, Brees issued an apology for comments he made about kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture first made in the NFL by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he was protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

The 41-year-old initially said he disagreed with sports stars who take a knee while the anthem is playing, remarks which were made in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last month, prompting demonstrations across the United States and beyond.

Brees' comments sparked responses of outrage, including from team-mates Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins.

He later asked for forgiveness, saying he "completely missed the mark", an apology that drew condemnation from Trump on Twitter.

Trump, speaking in a video with his son Donald Trump Jr. on the Team Trump YouTube page, delved further into the issue, claiming Brees "hurt himself very badly".

"I was shocked, because I consider him a great football player, but I consider him a champion and a star and I didn't understand what was going on," Trump said. 

"And he took it back and I've never seen anything like it and I think he hurt himself very badly. 

"I was going to put out that he'll regret that in the future years because you stand for the flag. You have to stand for the flag and the anthem. Our national anthem, you have to stand. I think the NFL's gonna have a lot of problems if they don't."

Trump suggested Brees does not necessarily believe his own apology and merely acted to stem the wave of criticism coming his way.

"A lot of warriors, they cave under PR pressure because his manager said, 'Oh this isn't right', and his team-mates said, 'This isn't right', and all of a sudden he's out there disclaiming about the flag and the country," Trump added.

"I don't believe he believes his second statement, by the way. He may believe it, but what he should be doing is not talking about the second, he should have stuck with his first."

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees responded to United States president Donald Trump and called for change in the country.

Trump criticised the 41-year-old for apologising for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem, saying his stance should not have changed.

Brees said earlier this week he disagreed with protests in which sports stars have knelt during the anthem.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality while he was playing in the NFL.

After Trump's tweets on Friday, Brees responded on social media, saying it was time for change in the USA.

"To @realdonaldtrump. Through my ongoing conversations with friends, team-mates, and leaders in the black community, I realise this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been," he wrote on Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To @realdonaldtrump Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

"We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities.

"We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation's history! If not now, then when?

"We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us."

United States president Donald Trump criticised New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for apologising for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem.

Brees, 41, apologised after saying he disagreed with protests in which sports stars have knelt during the anthem.

His comments came in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, prompting demonstrations across the United States and beyond.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality while he was playing in the NFL.

But Trump believes Brees should not have apologised for his stance.

"I am a big fan of Drew Brees," he wrote on Twitter. "I think he's truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high.

"We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart.

"There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!"

Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta believes the NBA season will be completed following the coronavirus crisis.

The 2019-20 NBA campaign has been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc globally – pushing the Olympic Games and Euro 2020 back a year.

At the time of postponement, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) owned the best record in the league, ahead of LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers (49-14), the Toronto Raptors (46-18) and Kawhi Leonard's Los Angeles Clippers (44-20).

It remains to be seen when, and if, the season will resume as NBA commissioner Adam Silver considers various options.

Fertitta met with United States president Donald Trump at the White House on Monday and when asked what would happen with basketball, the former said: "I think what they're doing is waiting to see what happens in certain states and if we're going to be able to play.

"Making sure the virus continues to go in the right direction in the next few weeks. And I think that if things are going in the way that it's going, I think the NBA, the commissioner Adam Silver, who has done an unbelievable job through this, and the 30 owners will make the decision to try to start the season up again."

After being asked by Trump if the season would be finished or not, Fertitta replied: "I think that there's talk about finishing the season playing X number of games.

"The players need to play to get paid, and right now they're taking a 25 per cent pay cut. They own 50 per cent of our revenue, unlike the other sports. And so they want that revenue, even if it's not the people-in-the-stands revenue, so they can get paid."

There has been talk that the NBA could head straight into the playoffs if the season resumes.

"I think that we would play some games just to get it going again and create interest and then go right into the playoffs," Fertitta said. "But I think it'll be great for America. We're all missing sports and everybody wants to see these great NBA teams."

United States president Donald Trump wants to see "big crowds" at the rescheduled Masters.

The 2020 Masters was moved from April to November due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 316,000 people worldwide.

Trump is hoping Augusta can welcome plenty of fans, despite the United States being hit hard by COVID-19.

"We want to get it back to where it was. We want big, big stadiums loaded with people," Trump told NBC on Sunday.

"We want to have, when you have the Masters, we want to have big crowds. Right now, that's not what they're planning, but you never know.

"Things can happen very quickly."

Trump was speaking as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson beat Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins match, raising over $5.5million for coronavirus relief.

The USA has more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with its death toll exceeding 90,900.

United States president Donald Trump said he is "tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old" as he eyes the return of sport following the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has brought sport to a standstill around the world – the NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR seasons were among those suspended, while the start of the MLB campaign was pushed back and there are concerns over the NFL.

The Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021, as well as Euro 2020 and the Copa America due to coronavirus, which has killed more than 126,500 people globally and over 26,000 in the US.

Addressing COVID-19 and sport on Tuesday, Trump told reporters: "In sports – we want to get our sports back, so importantly.

"We have to get our sports back. I'm tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old. But I haven't actually had too much time to watch.

"I would say maybe I watch one batter, and then I get back to work."

Trump also revealed an advisory group that will work to help reopen the US economy.

The group includes NBA commissioner Adam Silver, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, UFC president Dana White, WWE's Vince McMahon, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

United States president Donald Trump is unsure when sport can resume in the country, but hopes it is "sooner rather than later".

With the coronavirus pandemic having brought sport to a standstill around the world, Trump spoke with leaders of the USA's leagues and organisations via a call on Saturday.

The NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR seasons were among those suspended, while the start of the MLB campaign was pushed back and there are concerns over the NFL.

Trump hopes to see sport resume shortly, telling a media conference: "I want fans back in the arenas.

"Whenever we're ready, as soon as we can obviously and the fans want to be back too, they want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey, they want to see their sports.

"They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air."

Asked about a possible resumption, Trump said: "I can't tell you a date.

"But I think it's going to be sooner rather than later. We're not going to have to have separation for the rest of our times on the planet.

"We need it for this period of time, but eventually people are going to be able to occupy those seats in arenas next to each other, like we have for all of my life and all of your life."

More than 64,000 people have died from coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll in the USA exceeding 8,400.

Donald Trump is planning to attend what he predicts will be a "fantastic" Tokyo Olympics, despite the delay caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed on Tuesday that the Games, scheduled to start on July 24, would not go ahead as planned due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made following discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and organisers, though a new date is yet to be announced.

A special task force has been set up to work out the best time to stage the Olympics, though they will be no later than the summer of 2021.

Whenever the Games do take place, United States President Trump – who praised the postponement decision – intends to be there to witness the occasion for himself.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympics, 2021," Trump said during his media briefing on Wednesday.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympics, it was the absolute right decision to delay it for a full year and now have a full, beautiful Olympics.

"It's going to be very important because it's probably the first time maybe ever or certainly in a long time that it was on an odd year, it's always on an even year they tell me, but he's going to have a fantastic success and now they'll have even more time, he didn't need any more time, everything was perfectly ready, what a job they've done.

"I want to congratulate Japan, the IOC and prime minister Abe on a great decision.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympics, I told him I'll be there, I'll be there."

Bach has said "all the options are on the table" when it comes to a new date for the first Olympics to not go ahead as scheduled since the Second World War.

"This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle and every piece has to fit," he said during a conference call. "You take out one piece, the whole puzzle is destroyed.

"Everything has to come together and everything is important. This is why I really do not envy the members of this taskforce in their work."

The Brooklyn Nets defended testing players for coronavirus following backlash, while United States president Donald Trump addressed concerns that professional athletes and well-connected people are receiving priority amid the pandemic.

NBA franchise the Nets were heavily criticised on Tuesday after announcing four players – including injured superstar Kevin Durant – contracted COVID-19.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio took aim at the Nets, insisting "tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick" as the world struggles to contain the virus, which has claimed more than 8,900 lives globally.

The Nets responded to the criticism on Wednesday, with their statement reading: "As we learned NBA players on other teams had tested positive for COVID-19, we noticed that several of our players and staff had symptoms.

"Based on this information, and the judgment that all of our players are subject to high exposure due to the close physical nature of basketball, the communal nature of teams and the possibility of an accelerated spread from team to team, our medical experts advised that our players get tested.

"We sourced the tests through a private company and paid for them ourselves because we did not want to impact access to CDC's public resources. Using the test results, we were able to take immediate precautions and strictly isolate the players who tested positive.

"If we had waited for players to exhibit symptoms, they might have continued to pose a risk to their family, friends and the public. Our hope is that by drawing attention to the critical need for testing asymptomatic positive carriers, we can begin to contain the spread and save lives. We believe it is not only the right thing to do for our players and their families, it is the responsible thing to do from a medical and epidemiological standpoint."

US leader Trump was also asked about the issue during his news conference midweek.

Quizzed on whether "the well-connected go to the front of the line" for coronavirus testing, Trump replied: "No, I wouldn't say so. But perhaps that's the story of life. That does happen on occasion, and I've noticed where people have been tested fairly quickly."

The NBA has been on hiatus since Utah Jazz pair Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19.

The Jazz were scheduled to face the Oklahoma City Thunder before it was postponed on March 11, prompting the suspension of the league.

Oklahoma City, on Wednesday, announced that all players and staffers returned negative results for COVID-19.

"Recognising the stress on the state of Oklahoma's medical system, the Thunder did not use state resources and chose an alternative path for testing of its personnel," the Thunder said in a statement.

Japan are planning for a "complete" Olympics in front of spectators in July, according to the country's Olympic minister.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe stated on Saturday that the plan remains to stage the Games as intended in July, despite some calls for a postponement, including from United States president Donald Trump.

The International Olympic Commitee (IOC) is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the Olympics and the qualifying events that have had schedules badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a news conference, Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto echoed Abe's confidence that the Tokyo Games would be going ahead.

When asked whether the intention is to stage a "complete" Olympics, with fans present and abiding by the schedule, she replied: "That's correct. That's what we are aiming for.

"We will do our utmost to prepare as scheduled so that the International Olympic Committee will be convinced we are capable of hosting the games."

Japan has had 847 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 28 deaths.

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